Dakota Kim, thanks for posting your insightful article. And I’m relieved that you chose to keep the Comments private. Sometimes I feel weird about leaving comments in response to articles as I hate for them to seem as if they’re “about me,” when actually my responses are supportive in nature. They just happen to include a little backstory. But anyway … I’ve had a similar experience only a couple weeks ago. I know I should write about it publicly, but I’m still a bit raw about it.
Without getting into the weeds about things …
I’m sure you’re familiar with the TIME magazine cover with the St. Basil’s cathedral is Moscow and the White House in Washington, DC. I’m an art director and thought it was a brilliant mash-up of two metonyms. I posted the cover to my Facebook page with no caption as merely food for thought. Things quickly spiraled out of control when two of my white male friends (each of whom I’ve known each over 30 years and our political fews are no secret, but we’ve had the decency to let sleeping dogs lie) decided they would troll my page.
My Facebook page has always been a safe zone where people can discuss different points of view, but I have no tolerance for rudeness. I approached both friends in private discussions, and called them on the carpet. And one friend just couldn’t/wouldn’t wrap his brain around the notion that I run my Facebook page and I get to say how people interact on that page.
I pulled a few examples from my “How I Talk to White People About Racism,” but that was to no avail. I actually had to take things to a deep and personal level in an attempt to one friend to understand how offensive his behavior was by giving him an example that struck a nerve with him.
Needless to say, I haven’t heard from him since. It’s been a two weeks now.
Reading your post struck a nerve with me in that I guess I might need to write about this as others must surely be going through similar experiences. I guess I said all of that to say thank you for sharing this. As a person of color who’s always encouraging others to go there “with respect and care” with family and friends, I’m reminding that these conversations can still the hardest of conversations to have and there’s no results about the outcome.
Thanks for your time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not licking any wounds here as there are none which need tending; but it’s never a good feeling to discover that your friends have grown and changed in ways once considered unimaginable.